“We all have been there. It is 2 a.m, you can’t sleep, you have a lot on your mind – and let’s face facts, you are depressed. After doing all of the wrong things to combat depression, I thought I would pass on some of my knowledge to you. Hopefully you can find better things to do with your time at 2 a.m. than I did. Why only seven things? I fell asleep, and I was too depressed to think of 10…
1. Whatever you do, stay away from Google. Normally I am a HUGE Google lover, but at 2 a.m. when things are looking bleak, Google has a funny way of turning on you. I call this “Depression Googling”. It seems like a smart idea in the moment to start searching for all the wacky symptoms of your illness, or the side effects of your medications, but to read all this technical data when you are on little sleep just leads to trouble. It is overwhelming and depressing and no matter how much medical information and experience you have, you are not a doctor. Google also tends to get addictive. One search leads to another and three hours later, you still don’t have answers, just a load of websites that tend to confuse and depress you even more.
2. Now is NOT the time to Stroll Down Memory Lane. It is fun to look at pictures or talk to old friends, but not when you are down in the dumps. When you are sad, comparing yourself to your skinny/ pretty/ prom/ healthy pictures is not productive. You are not that person and you will never be that person again, You can’t – it is in the past. We have a funny way of picking ourselves apart when we want to. We can be our own worst enemies. We notice every flaw, every unfulfilled desire and we focus on it. When looking at old pictures or talking to old friends, we reminisce about the way things were, or how things could have been, and rarely do we focus on the now and how great some things currently are.
3. Do not watch sad movies. It might seem like a good idea to watch movies to distract yourself when you are sad or can’t sleep, but there are some movies that should come with warning labels. If you think the movie might be a tear jerker, don’t watch it. Practise self control. The news isn’t even safe anymore. Turn your TV channel to a comedy station or the Disney cartoon network – anything that will make you laugh, but not make you think.
4. Now is NOT the time for A Major House Re-Organization. I know you are awake, and you think that you might as well make good productive use of your time, but you will just end up tired, ache-y and with a half-accomplished project. You do not need more reasons to be depressed. Looking at the cabinets in your kitchen and deciding to re-organize your Tupperware is not the way to cheer up. You will only be mad at how the cabinets got so messy in the first place, or you will start the project and be too tired to finish. Waking up to a messy kitchen with random lids of Tupperware all over the place will only make you feel worse. Trust me, I am writing this article with a half-erected Christmas tree in front of me, and it is sad.
5. Eating that whole bowl of Fudge Brownie Mix, although yummy, will just give you a tummy ache. Eating a whole bowl of anything is probably not a good idea. You will either get an upset stomach, or get a sugar rush that will just keep you awake even longer. An easy rule of thumb is do not bake, cook, or binge. You do not want to wake up in the morning and feel more upset about what you ate, than about whatever it was that was upsetting you. If you want to bake, eat one piece of whatever it is and put the rest away.
6. Do not drink away your troubles. You had problems before one glass of wine or a beer, and you will have problems after them. Drinking will just make your issues seem bigger, fuzzier and just plain messy. Drinking makes everything seem sad. Drinking by yourself at 2 a.m. is just pathetic. Have a drink to toast and celebrate good occasions, not to drown your sorrows.
7. Do not change your blog, facebook, or myspace page to reflect your mood. Do not take the time to change your background to black or your song list to Alanis Morissette just yet. Wait a few days and make sure that dark mood is really what you want to express. Maybe after a few days and a good night’s sleep, you will not be feeling so Goth. Before you spread your dark mood to the world, wait a few days. You will be happy you don’t have to just figure out how to undo everything you did.”
Christine Miserandino, © 2009 www.butyoudontlooksick.com